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Curriculum and Requirements

The MSA program begins in June each year. The MSA degree requires 32 semester hours of graduate course work of which at least 20 hours are in graduate-level accounting courses, and at least 4 hours are in a non-accountancy graduate course.

Core Courses

The following core courses are required of every MSA student. To learn more about the degree requirements, please visit the University of Illinois Course Catalog.

  • ACCY 501: Accounting Analysis I
  • ACCY 502: Accounting Analysis II 
  • ACCY 503: Managerial Accounting
  • ACCY 504: Auditing
  • ACCY 505: Federal Taxation

Students who have previously completed any of the required courses above will take a suitable replacement course approved by a program advisor.

Graduate Electives

Students in the MSA program may select from among the following electives to complete the course requirements for their degree. For more information on elective courses, please visit the University of Illinois Course Explorer.

  • ACCY 506: Advanced Accounting
  • ACCY 510: Financial Reporting Standards
  • ACCY 512: Data Analytics for Management Accounting
  • ACCY 570: Data Analytics Foundations for Accountancy
  • ACCY 571: Statistical Analytics for Accountancy
  • ACCY 575: Data Analytics Applications in Accounting
  • ACCY 517: Financial Statements Analysis
  • ACCY 518: Financial Statements Fraud
  • BADM 403: Business Law
  • FIN 511: Investments
  • FIN 521: Advanced Corporate Finance
  • BADM 567: Process Management
  • BADM 541: Economics of Organizations

Sample Schedule

Additional Graduate Electives

The following courses may be taken by students in the MSA program. However, these courses do not count toward the 32 credit hour requirement for the MSA degree and are taken beyond that requirement.

  • ACCY 398: CPA Exam Preparation Course
    As part of this course, we offer an online CPA review. This course becomes available to MSA students during the spring semester. Although the credit hours do not count towards the degree, they do count toward full-time student status, are reflected in the student’s overall GPA, and they may help meet the Illinois Board of Examiners requirement to take the CPA exam.
  • ACCY 593: Professional Soft Skills
    This course will introduce students to a different mindset and approach regarding their individual self-development to help them improve the professional soft skills critical to success in school, business and life. Students will identify the most common obstacles preventing them from improving and develop strategies and techniques to adequately manage these obstacles. This course will also help students learn how to improve their networking and relationship-building skills, critical to recruiting, job search and career success, by focusing on those soft skills that have the greatest influence on a student’s performance in these areas.


In addition to the core curriculum, some students may be eligible to add a concentration. Our MSA program has two Accountancy concentrations:

We also work with other departments across the Gies College of Business to provide students the opportunity to add non-accountancy concentrations. Please note that these concentrations have very limited seats and are only available to MSA students if seats become available.

Gies News and Events

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Bertram helping build a bridge for the next generation

Jim Bertram joined Gies as an instructor of finance this fall after spending 32 years in investment banking, working for major firms like Salomon Brothers, Deutsche Bank, Banc of America Securities, and William Blair. He will be teaching Investment Banking (FIN 463) this fall and succeeding Rob Metzger as the director of the Investment Banking Academy in January.

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Torelli: From civil engineer to Gies department head

Carlos Torelli will apply his engineering mindset and marketing expertise to his new role as head of the Department of Business Administration at Gies. “We have a responsibility to give back in academia at a certain point in our careers. I returned to Gies because I knew they would value my skills and my background and give me the opportunity to make an impact."